Giuseppe Porta


An example of Porta’s mature draftsmanship, this drawing demonstrates a range of techniques, from the carefully modeled face and crumpled sleeve pleats to the delicate strokes describing the figure’s beard. The artist achieved rich and vibrant color effects by employing four different chalks against blue-gray paper. The sheet served as a preparatory study for a fresco in the Sala Regia—a formal reception hall in the Vatican—that was executed between 1562 and 1566. The corresponding painted figure, who gestures emphatically while conferring with an armored warrior standing nearby, can be seen in the large crowd at right.

Giuseppe Porta, called Giuseppe Salviati
Italian, ca. 1520–ca. 1575
Bearded man with his right arm raised, 1562–64
Black, red, and ocher chalk, with touches of white chalk, on bluish- gray paper
The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray; 2019.860
Gray Collection Trust, Art Institute of Chicago